Child support clawback is a disgrace: Cole
Ontario is wrong to claw back child support payments for those who receive social assistance.
The Toronto Star, Dec 24 2015, by Desmond Cole
The year-round challenge of surviving poverty is especially rough for those who celebrate Christmas. We seem to intuitively get this, and many of us donate more food, clothing, toys and money during the holiday season. A Toronto woman whom I'll call Sarah got the equivalent of a lump of coal in her stocking this week - her welfare worker called to say she owes the government money because her ex-husband has fallen behind on his child support payments.
Like all Ontarians on social assistance, Sarah doesn't see a dime of the child support payments her ex owes her. The province claws the money back, and ensures that Sarah and her 8-year-old daughter only receive what a single woman on welfare is entitled to under its punitive system. Since welfare learned that Sarah's husband was paying less support than he owes, the government will now deduct the difference in her future payments. Merry Christmas. Read More ..
Liberals agree to revoke spanking law in response to TRC call
OTTAWA The Globe and Mail, Canada's largest national newspaper, Sunday, Dec. 20, 2015, by Gloria Galloway
In promising to enact all of the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the federal Liberals have agreed to remove a section of law that allows parents to spank their kids without fear of prosecution.
Groups that oppose corporal punishment of children have spent many years urging successive governments in Ottawa to repeal Section 43 of the Criminal Code that permits parents and teachers to use reasonable force to correct the behaviour of youngsters in their care.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which heard thousands of tales of physical abuse inside Indian residential schools, said in its final report that "corporal punishment is a relic of a discredited past and has no place in Canadian schools or homes." The repeal of Section 43 was No. 6 on a list of 94 "calls to action" included in the report, which was made public last week.
When asked if Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's promise to act on every TRC recommendation meant repealing the so-called spanking law, a spokesman for Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould would only say the government remains committed to implementing all of the commission's calls to action.
In 2004, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that physical force was acceptable within certain bounds - it cannot be used on children under the age of 2, it cannot involve implements such as a paddle or a belt and blows to a child's head are not allowed. Teachers and faith-based groups praised the decision, saying the people who are responsible for raising children must have the leeway to decide when moderate physical discipline is required. Read More ..
Toronto Star newspaper headline (front page)-
Peel group urges release of race data on kids in care
Toronto Star website
Peel group calls for GTA African-Canadian children's aid society
A black community group in Peel recommends mandatory collection and sharing of race-based data on Ontario kids in care.
The Toronto Star, By: Jim Rankin, Feature reporter, Sandro Contenta News, Wed Dec 09 2015
The Ontario government should make it mandatory for all children's aid societies to collect and make public race-based data on kids in their care.
The recommendation - along with a call for an African-Canadian society to support Toronto-area black families - is included in a position paper by the Black Community Action Network (BCAN) of Peel. It will be released Wednesday morning at a Brampton conference of Peel community leaders and children's aid society officials.
"The collection and dissemination of that data is critical to be able to assess whether the kinds of services that we have available are effective, to hold some of these agencies accountable for the kinds of services they are delivering," Dr. Julian Hasford, the paper's author and a community psychologist, said in an interview.
"I don't think that we're going to be able to make informed and effective decisions with respect to system change without that information."
The group also wants the Peel Children's Aid Society to follow the lead of the Children's Aid Society of Toronto and report publicly on the proportion of children in care - and the number of families involved with the society - who are black. Read More ..
December 4, 2015
Liberals under pressure to fix Ontario's child protection system
( above is headline The Toronto Star newspaper website )
website version - In more than half of child abuse investigations reviewed by auditor general Bonnie Lysyk's office, the children's aid societies failed to make mandatory checks of the Ontario Child Abuse Register.
Child protection system needs urgent fix: AG
( above is headline The Toronto Star newspaper, page A4 )
newspaper version- Aid societies failed to check Ontario Child Abuse Register, leaving some kids at 'risk'
The Toronto Star, Friday Dec. 4 , 2015, by Sandro Content, staff reporter and Jim Rankin Feature reporter,
The Ontario government is under pressure to fix a child protection system criticized by the auditor general for putting some children in "serious risk."
In her report, Bonnie Lysyk describes a child protection system riddled with problems, from badly conducted abuse investigations to a floundering Ministry of Children and Youth Services that fails to oversee Ontario's privately run children's aid societies.
At stake are the lives of 15,625 children who, on average, were in foster or group-home care in 2014-15, and the well-being of thousands more investigated for possible abuse.
In more than half of child abuse investigations reviewed by Lysyk's office, the children's aid societies failed to make mandatory checks of the Ontario Child Abuse Register. The register would note if caregivers had a history of abuse.
"Failure to conduct these crucial history checks puts children in serious risk of being placed or left in the care of individuals with a history of abusing children," Lysyk's report states. Read More ..
Pregnant Bronx mom fatally stabbed by woman who cut child out of her womb: officials
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, Saturday, November 21, 2015, By Kerry Burke, Ross Keith, Rocco Parascandola, Thomas Tracy
A deranged woman fatally stabbed an expectant mom before cutting a baby girl from the dying victim's womb.
The baby - later named little Genesis - miraculously survived the Bronx horror.
Officials described the Friday delivery as a crude operation where the girl was "surgically removed by the perpetrator."
The newborn was taken to Montefiore Medical Center and listed in stable condition hours after her mother was murdered.
The mom, Angelikque Sutton, was 8½ months pregnant and preparing for the baby's arrival on Dec. 2. Her baby registry on thebump.com was full of items she needed, including a Koala baby folding hamper, a convertible crib and a pink baby essentials duffel diaper bag. She also was registered at Babies "R" Us and Target. Read More ..
Ombudsman says he gets too many complaints about Family Responsibility Office
Andre Marin says system has improved but 'over $200,000 not going to needy parents'
The Canadian Press, July 28, 2015
Ontario Ombudsman Andre Marin took aim at the Family Responsibility Office and the justice system in his annual report that came out Tuesday.
The Ontario agency responsible for enforcing court-ordered child and spousal support payments has been singled out again by the ombudsman because of a growing number of complaints.
There were 1,167 complaints about the Family Responsibility Office in 2014-15, a slight increase over the previous year but up considerably from 794 complaints two years ago, ombudsman Andre Marin said in his annual report Tuesday. Read More ..
South African man drugged, sexually assaulted by group of women
The incident at gunpoint was one in a series in the country where women have been implicated, but that police are reluctant to investigate. In some cases the attackers are said to be seeking male sperm.
The Toronto Star, by Stephanie Findlay, Special to the Star, Published website on Thu May 7, 2015 - Published newspaper Saturday, May 9, 2015
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - A South African man was raped by three women for his semen this week, the latest incident in a series of attacks that has seen groups of women sexually assaulting men in the country.
A 33-year-old man said he was held at gunpoint by the women on Tuesday. He alleges he was forced into a black BMW, given a drink that caused an erection, and then raped near the coastal city of Port Elizabeth. The women put his semen in a cooler box before leaving him in an open field and driving away.
"They pointed at him with a firearm directly, a shotgun," said constable Mncedi Mbombo. "They gave him something to drink, then they left him after they got the sperm." Read More ...
Alyson Schafer on Spanking and Corporal Punishment of Children
Alyson Schafer is a psychotherapist and one of Canada's leading parenting experts. She's the author of the best-selling "Breaking the Good Mom Myth" (Wiley, 2006) and host of TV's The Parenting Show a live call-in show in Toronto, Ontario.
The media relies on Alyson's comments and opinions. you can find her interviewed and quoted extensively in such publications as Cosmopolitan, Readers' Digest, Canadian Living, Today's Parents, and Canadian Families.
You can read Alyson's thoughts.
Auditor General of Ontario
Disasterous Report on the Family Reponsibility Office FRO 2010
80% of Telephone calls don't get answered
Payers and recipients do not have direct access to their assigned enforcement services officer
"There is only limited access to enforcement staff because many calls to the Office do not get through or are terminated before they can be answered."
"The Office is reviewing and working on only about 20% to 25% of its total cases in any given year."
"At the end of our audit in April 2010, there were approximately 91,000 bring-forward notes outstanding, each of which is supposed to trigger specific action on a case within one month. The status of almost one-third of the outstanding bring-forward notes was "open," indicating either that the notes had been read but not acted upon, or that they had not been read at all, meaning that the underlying nature and urgency of the issues that led to these notes in the first place was not known. In addition, many of the notes were between one and two years old."
"For ongoing cases, the Office took almost four months from the time the case went into arrears before taking its first enforcement action. For newly registered cases that went straight into arrears, the delay was seven months from the time the court order was issued."
Read the shocking report by The Auditor General of Ontario Report on the Family Responsibility Office
Ontario agency admits to overbilling on child support payments
The Ottawa Citizen
January 14, 2012
TORONTO - Ontario's controversial Family Responsibility Office has been overbilling 1,700 parents, mostly fathers, for as long as 13 years, the province admitted Friday.
The 1,700 parents were overbilled by an average $75 each month, after the agency wrongly applied a cost of living adjustment that was eliminated in 1997.
Those who were overpaid will not be forced to give the money back.
Instead, taxpayers will foot the $5.3 million bill for the agency's mistake.
"This error's been found and it's being corrected," said Liberal cabinet minister John Milloy. "We're going to be reaching out to those individuals (who were overbilled) and talking to them about their situation, formally alerting them."
The Family Responsibility Office, or FRO, is responsible for ensuring court-ordered child support payments are made. Read More .. than 97 per cent of all payers overseen by the office are male.
Milloy said the agency discovered the problem at some point in 2011. No one will be fired for the mistakes, he added.
"I see this as something very serious," he said in an interview. "I'm not trying to minimize it, but â€¦ there's been lots of action taken to reform FRO, to update computer systems, to update customer relations and it's on a much firmer footing."
The billing mistake is only the latest controversy to engulf FRO. Read More ..
Ontario's child financial support collection agency has big problems
Ontario's Family Responsibility Office has many problems
Quote from Ontario Government Ombudsman -"an equal opportunity error-prone program,."'
Support recipients not getting their money.
Men who've been meeting their court-ordered obligations have trouble getting the FRO to stop taking payments when it's supposed to. Read More ..
"Canada's National newspaper for professional women"
Does the FRO have a feminist perspective?
When families fall apart, they can make for the bitterest of enemies. The intensity of their hostility, the personal rhetoric, the posturing and positioning, and the utter faithlessness of remembrance in the relationship's good deeds and consequences is a breathtaking phenomenon. It's as if the positive qualities and countless achievements are struck from history as a revisionist might strike the Holocaust. Into all of this the family court system wades, often inelegantly. Divorce lawyers drive up the emotional and financial toll of separation and transformation. Family and friends frequently collude to make things worse.
And when government decides to rear its head, well, it's a mess for all the world to see. Witness the recent attention on Ontario's euphemistically branded Family Responsibility Office. A job in advertising doubtlessly greeted the person who came up with its title, because it suggests some sort of feel-good missionary work to hold together the sanctity of the institution. Read More ..
"Canada's national newspaper for professional women"
The Family Responsibility Office Under Scrutiny
On June 9, 2005 the McGuinty government announced the passage of Bill 155, legislation that promised to increase enforcement, improve fairness and enhance efficiency at the Family Responsibility Office (FRO).
However, the legislation did not address the problem of accountability and, as things now stand, the FRO is a threat to every Canadian affected by a government regulated support and custody arrangement system. Think of George Orwell's 1984 and you'll have a good picture of how issues are handled at the FRO.
They have legal power to extort money from Canadians, but are not responsible or accountable for their actions.
Last year an FRO staff member decided not to wait for a court date to review the financial status of an out-of-work truck driver and took it upon themselves to suspend his license because he was, understandably, behind on his payments, having lost his job earlier in the year. Although he was looking for work, the FRO cut off the only way he knew of to earn a living. His suicide note explained how he'd lost all hope. Is this what we want FRO to be doing? Read More ..
New Brunswick woman ruled responsible in burning of baby's body
ST. STEPHEN, N.B. - A New Brunswick judge says a woman who burned and dismembered her newborn son is criminally responsible for her actions.
Becky Sue Morrow earlier pleaded guilty to offering an indignity to a dead body and disposing of a newborn with the intent of concealing a delivery.
Judge David Walker ruled Friday that the 27-year-old woman may have been suffering from a mental disorder when she delivered the baby but that that was not the case when the baby's body was burned and its remains hidden.
It is not known if the baby was alive at the time of birth.
At a hearing last month, the court heard contrasting reports from the two psychiatrists. One said Ms. Morrow was in a "disassociated" mental state when the crime occurred. The other said she clearly planned her actions and understood the consequences.
national "Child Day"
Canada's "Child Day" is held on November 20th each year as designated by the Parliament of Canada in 1993.
It commemorates the United Nations adoption of two landmark documents concerned with the human rights of all children and youths. Read More ..
Truth and Reconciliation Commission said in its final report that 'corporal punishment is a relic of a discredited past and has no place in Canadian schools or homes'